The Northern Territory Interventionand the Fabrication of 'Special Measures'

Indigenous Law Centre, UNSW
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Indigenous Law Review, 2007, SPECIAL EDITION, 13 (1), pp. 78 - 106
Issue Date:
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The provisions of the controversial Northern Territory Emergency Response (commonly called the 'Northern Territory Intervention') were and remain targeted directly at prescribed Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. In order to avoid any potential conflict with the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) ('RDA') - which is the instrument that enacts Australia's obligations under the Conaention on the Elimination of AII Fonns of Racial Discriminationl 1'RaceC onaention')- the Coalition Australian Government at the time ('former Government') excluded the RD,4's application to the Intervention.2 Curiously, the former Government went further and adopted the device of declaring that all measures constituting the Northern Territory Intervention were 'special measures'for the purposes of the RD4.3 Each of the three substantive legislafive instruments that constifute the Northern Territory Intervention includes a provision to that effect.
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